Pesticide Label Review Training

Pesticide product labels provide critical information about how to safely and legally handle and use pesticide products. Unlike most other types of product labels, pesticide labels are legally enforceable, and all of them carry the statement: “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” In other words, the label is the law.

EPA requires extensive scientific data on the potential health and environmental effects of a pesticide before granting a registration, which is a license to market that product in the United States. Nearly half of the employees of EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) work in the science divisions reviewing such data. Thus, for EPA, a critical function of the label is to translate the results of those evaluations into a set of conditions, directions, and precautions that define who may use a pesticide, as well as where, how, how much, and how often it may be used.

The label reviewer's work therefore affects:

  • individuals and companies that register their pesticide products;
  • EPA, which uses the label to manage the potential risks pesticides may pose;
  • state and federal agencies that enforce pesticide label requirements;
  • educational programs that certify pesticide users; and, of course,
  • pesticide users.

Pesticide users will use labels you review to make decisions that could have far-reaching effects on human health and the environment.

Who should take this training?

The primary audience for this training is EPA employees whose job includes review of labels as part of the registration process. The training describes concepts and key resources for label reviews, and thus is designed with new employees in mind. However, it can also serve as a refresher for more experienced employees. In addition, EPA believes that pesticide industry employees who develop labels for submission to EPA can also benefit from using this material to better understand what EPA expects of pesticide labels, and what the Agency will generally find acceptable or not.

Because the pesticide product label is so important, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs has developed this online training to ensure that reviewers evaluate labels according to four core principles:

  • clarity;
  • accuracy;
  • consistency with EPA policy; and
  • enforceability.

This online training is divided into five modules:

  1. Label Basics
  2. Parts of the Label
  3. Special Issues
  4. Applying the Principles of Pesticide Label Review
  5. Emerging Issues and Course Completion

The five modules summarize important topics covered in the Label Review Manual. Throughout this online training, and as you conduct your reviews, you should regularly consult the Label Review Manual for more information. View the Label Review Manual.

This entire training can be completed in one or two sittings, and you can stop in the middle and come back as needed. At the end of the training you can take the final quiz and find out how well you did.

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